Changes to managing Crown reserves

New Crown land legislation will come into effect this year that will improve the governance of Crown reserves whilst continuing to strengthen community involvement.

The changes will affect all current reserve trust managers.

The management of Crown reserves is based on a partnership between government and the community. Local councils, professional boards, not for profit organisations and individual community-based volunteer boards continue under the new legislation.

Current management will automatically transition so that appointed managers continue to have the care, control and management responsibility for their Crown reserves. They will be known as Crown land managers.

Impacts of the changes

Reserve management

  • reserve management framework modified to recognise the diversity and capability of current managers
  • all appointed managers of Crown land will be known as Crown land managers
  • all existing reserve trust managers will automatically transition so that they continue to have the care, control and management responsibility of their Crown reserves
  • all existing assets, liabilities, tenures and contracts of the reserve trust automatically transition to the Crown land manager.

For boards and administrators

  • existing reserve trust corporate entity is converted to a statutory land manager
  • existing trustees are automatically appointed to the new statutory land manager
  • boards appointed under the new legislation have a maximum of seven members including ex-officio appointments
  • existing boards exceeding seven members will remain valid until the current term expires.

For corporations

  • the existing reserve trust is abolished and the appointed Crown reserves are managed directly by the corporation’s entity
  • revenue generated on Crown reserves continues to be only available to be expended on the Crown reserves under management
  • the Lands Administration Ministerial Corporation (Min Corp) continues under the new Act.

For the Minister

  • continues to be responsible for all reserved and dedicated Crown land when there has been no Crown land manager appointed
  • can also be responsible for the affairs and reserves of a statutory land manager.

For local councils

  • councils play an important role in managing Crown land for their local communities
  • this will continue under the new Act with council reserve trust managers being appointed as Crown land managers for land they currently manage
  • councils will manage Crown land under the Local Government Act 1993, we are working with Office of Local Government to support and prepare councils for this transition.

Funding

The Public Reserves Management Fund will be known as the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund. Both council and non-council Crown land managers, common trusts and freehold showgrounds will continue to be eligible to apply for grants and loans to support their reserve management responsibilities.

Governance

The legislation provides for a number of governance improvements to enable better oversight and direction of management outcomes. This includes a community engagement strategy to guide community consultation for non-council Crown land managers. A Code of Conduct will establish the minimum standard of behaviours expected of people contributing to the management of a Crown reserve.